ice·​fall | \ ˈīs-ˌfȯl How to pronounce icefall (audio) \

Definition of icefall

1 : a frozen waterfall
2 : the mass of usually jagged blocks into which a glacier may break when it moves down a steep declivity

Examples of icefall in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Come in the spring when the cascades are at their most dramatic, or hit the park in winter for eagle watching and icefalls. Sarah Feldberg, Travel + Leisure, "The Best Place to Camp in Each of the 50 States," 24 Feb. 2017 The 23 expeditions undertaken between 1931 and 1939 invariably entailed extreme trials—among them perilous icefalls, pounding hail and fingers and toes lost to frostbite. The Economist, "Summit diplomacy A race to the top of the world," 20 Feb. 2020 In the winter, water freezes into a giant icefall on the sandstone cliffs along the Red Cedar State Trail south of Menomonie. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Candlelight hikes give winter in Wisconsin a beautiful glow," 6 Dec. 2018 On the Langshisha Glacier, Dawa Yangzum easily navigated the uneven icefall and gaping crevasses. Anna Callaghan, Outside Online, "Smashing Guiding's Glass Ceiling," 3 Apr. 2018 The icefall gave way to a barren strip of gray moraine dotted with yellow and orange tents, the remnants of the season's Base Camp. Author: John Branch, Anchorage Daily News, "Deliverance from 27,000 feet: The journey home for 2 climbers who perished on Everest," 19 Dec. 2017 On March 23, an icefall buried and killed one climber, Jake Breitenbach. Sewell Chan, New York Times, "Norman Dyhrenfurth, 99, Dies; Led First U.S. Team to Reach Top of Everest," 27 Sep. 2017 The siphons lowered the height of the lake by nearly 20 feet, but they were damaged in recent icefall, and only two are now working. Nick Miroff,, "Peru and its melting glaciers are an early test of adapting to climate change. It's not going well.," 7 Aug. 2017 The siphons lowered the height of the lake by nearly 20 feet, but they were damaged in recent icefall, and only two are now working. Washington Post, "Peru’s glaciers have made it a laboratory for adapting to climate change. It’s not going well.," 7 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'icefall.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of icefall

1803, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of icefall was in 1803

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Last Updated

28 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Icefall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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